The ETL lab was founded more than 100 years ago. ETL traces its roots back to Thomas Edison. In 1986, he established the Lamp Testing Bureau of his company - the Edison Electric Illuminating Company. From the beginnin, Edison had a concern for the safety of electric devices. In 1904 he renamed the Lamp Testing Bureau. Edison named it "Electrical Testing Laboratories" or "ETL" as it has come to be known.
ETL SEMKO is a part of Intertek, a global leader in product testing. Along with safes, ETL tests domestic appliances, automotive parts, heat, ventilation and air conditioning equipment, home and consumer electronics, building products, semi-conductors, cable and wiring accessories, industrial machinery and medical devices.
For a period of time ETL located some of its operations within GE to evaluate their products. ... but now they are strictly independent. This happened in 2 stages. First, in 1937, ETL became a charter member of the new American Council of Independent Laboratories. In 1942, ETL become completely independent and employee owned.
Since then ETL has continued to grow and ownership has changed twice. In 1988 it was purchased by Inchcape. In 1996 Inchcape was purchased by an international company, Intertek. Unlike UL, Intertek is a for-profit company which sells stock shares. OSHA has recognized ETL Testing Laboratories since 1989.